Tell ya what, if you`re looking for something involving the medical
profession, you could start with an actually useful scheduling system!
Doctors could care less about computers, they`re way too busy to even
learn bedside manner, or keeping up with current events. They hire an
office manager, like tossing a dart at the classifieds, and hope for
the best. But consider this: EVERYone who ever visits a doctor has to
make an appointment (assuming private practice).
I saw one site, which I think is another wave of the future, run by an
MD with an interest in alternative medicine. She was the hub, with a
chiropractor, homeopath, acupuncturist, and masseuse semi-contracting
and semi-on location. It was a complex practice, and she offers online
The application allows to choose the person to see, then shows the
current booked and open slots going out as far as the office manager
chooses. That being said, it was almost impossible to get it to work
from an end-user perspective. Additionally, I`d assume it`s a nightmare
for the office manager to continually update---almost like keeping a
double set of books.
If you could integrate computerized scheduling in the office, with a
natural upload "feed" to the Web site, that would alleviate a lot of
trouble for the office mgr or whomever is the scheduling agent. That`s
one area of bottleneck.
Another really bad place is the wait time. This above doctor had nearly
a 1.5 HOUR delay from time of appt. to time seen. That`s absurd, and
she`s losing patients (who are losing patience!). I`d think some sort
of time/patient management application might be useful. It could be
tied into audible or visual "alarms," perhaps a small LED mounted above
each examination room? Or three, with green, yellow, and red.
Green would be "empty," with yellow being "occupied." However, red
would mean "overtime," and could be connected to a clock managed inside
the PC or on the office server. Things like that, I think, where the
technophile (you) consider the real-world problems of physically
running an actual medical office.
Finally, one of the biggest nightmares is the one-two punch that`s just
come through. It`s the electronic filing for Medicare/Medicaid, and the
electronic medical record. Nobody knows what to do with the compliance
laws, and a huge number of medical offices have VERY old technology
using legacy applications.
Contrary to what people believe, physicians don`t have a lot of money
to spend, or the expertise to spend it wisey....or get support. They`re
using vertical market solutions designed for 10 years ago, running on
nonsense platforms, and they`re trapped. Once they`ve chosen a
practice-management application, there`s no way to change from then on,
so they`re at the mercy of the developers.
If you could move any of that out of the legacy systems into online or open-source, you`d have a market, I`m thinking.
Well, Craig you have good points about the IT problems in heatlthcare. Some can be solved with technology. The biggest problems is the doctors, very few admits that they nned that type of technology. Funny you can sell a hospital staff on a multi million CAT machine, but the balk at prices on a wireless way to make the data availble faster via handhelds and or websites. Granted there are old billing and coding databased kike IC9 or other, but many of them can be upgraded and made available online that will conform to HIPPA standards. Getting a doctor to be on time is another matter. Most doctors like the one I am working with now ison staff at two hospitals so getting him from one to another can be tough, but we are working on system that will help solve that problems. As for making scheduling portals there are five companies that I know of doing just that and the field is open most legacy problems are solved by using DICOM systems that can convert older systems to work with webbased systems. But like I say before to impress a hospital to get these systems you must become part of their system. Doctors are impress with reports and white papers. That how they get most their information. If some wants to sell to a doctor nothing says by me to them then an expert in the field.
Unh-hunh...and you can try to change doctors until the universe winds
down into utter stillness, and never succeed. So if you want to build a
Web solution involving medicine, your choice is either to avoid all
interaction with doctors, or bang your head against the wall.
People can always come up with hundreds of reasons why something won`t
work. And that`s why it appears that "everyone is developing the same
crap on the web." It isn`t that the Web no longer offers opportunity,
it`s that the reasons things won`t work are all the same.
Women say there aren`t any good men around anymore. Men say all the
good jobs are taken. Young and old people say that all the inventions
have been made and there`s no way to start a business anymore.
`Tweeners say that nobody can afford to buy a house anymore, the
inexpensive ones don`t exist.
Fine. Hang onto that philosophy. It`s a sure winner. :-)
My point is that when it appears as if nothing is changing, nothing is
different, then it`s the creative inventor who comes up with something
different. We could discuss the state of the healthcare industry for
hours, talking about how it`s stuck in a rut. Is that the point of this
thread? Or is it to find a way to MAKE it change?
Craig it`s crazy how close your suggestion is to my own original thoughts. When I first had the initial burst of the idea, I had just went to a doctor`s visit. While it was easy just to write down my appointment and they have an automated system to remind you of your appointment via voicemail, I couldn`t help but wonder if there was a better way.
That`s why I got the idea to create a scheduling system. That`s what I originally meant by portal. You took it further with your idea for an ERP type system and I find it intriguing. Wirehead does offer some valid points and reveals a key problem. Dr.s are entrenched. The web and software are still scary things. for this idea to work I`d have to figure out a way to make this transition so painless that my products/services are the obvious solution to their needs. For every problem there`s a solution and for every solution there`s a counter problem. I appreciate both, every objections helps me consider a better solution for the product.
BTW Wirehead thank you for the offer. That`s an awesome contact you`re offering me. If I`m interested in taking this further, I`ll be sure to issue you a PM.
Thanks again everyone
Follow the journey of Marvin Hawkins Visual Concepts and Nothing Like It Games at http://gamerdeveloper.blogspot.com/
My argument to Wirehead is that everybody knows doctors are entrenched,
technophobes, and so on. So what? They don`t spend the money, their
office managers do!
One of my mottos is, "There`s always a workaround!" And that`s the
whole point of creative entrepreneurship. It`s the foundation of
inventions, advancement, and so on. Here on SuN we have lots of people
asking if there`s a business idea they can just fall into, where they
don`t have to think much, just take some product and sell it for more
than they paid for it.
Fine...that`s their idea. But to really make something successful, more
often than not requires making something new. In order to succeed with
that new thing, one has to really learn how to question assumptions.
And that means understanding basic assumptions in the first place.
The assumption above is, "I can`t do anything in the medical field
because doctors control everything and don`t want new stuff." Fine. So
either abandon the medical field completely, or test that assumption of
how much control do doctors exert in their offices? In most cases, I`ve
found the doctors have little interest in how the office runs, unless
they`re losing money or being ripped off, or can`t find what they need
Focus on the medical office managers, Managed Care companies, and
Physician Practice Management companies. THEY understand the benefits
of new technology and ideas.
Well, this is going to be a tough one. Craig I know that doctors and staff can be technophic, but somethings, but if you learn what they can use that make the office run better, takes care of patients and reduces mistakesin healthcare then you are part of the solution. That`s what I do, in healthcare. BTW Nothinglikeit. There are several new business just like yours in healthcare that are wining over doctors and staff everyday. When you get you idea flashed out there are several medical grants available to you.So let me know when you are ready. I will help you get in front of doctors and staff to sell your portal.
Wirehead, :-) That`s the basic point. The thread started as a query to
find something new in the realm of Web development. In brainstorming, I
would argue there are useful and not-so-useful responses, questions,
suggestions, and other arguments.
To say that doctors don`t like something isn`t a very useful argument,
in my opinion. Most doctors don`t have time to really understand the
Web. Those that do, are unusual and not the majority.
At that point, either the brainstorming session terminates or it moves
forward. If it terminates, it`s because there`s an assumption: Doctors
must know the Web.
Is that true? I would say, no...not at all.